Mikolas Trying To Keep It Simple

STATEN ISLAND, NY - Outfielder Nathan Mikolas is in the midst of his first non-Gulf Coast League season after spending the two previous seasons there. He had been working on using the whole field more and not trying too hard at the plate, which still remain his developmental mantras now after a slow start with the Staten Island Yankees.

Left fielder Nathan Mikolas has gotten off to a rather slow start so far, batting just .195 with seven RBIs in 24 games, but, a notorious pull hitter for the lower levels, he is continuing to work on trying to pull the ball less and expand his hitting range.

"For him, it’s just a matter of trying to stay within himself,” Staten Island Yankees manager Mario Garza said. “He gets big sometimes, and when he’s big, he gets around the ball.

"[He is] trying to stay in the short, compact swing and just using the middle of the field. We’re still working there. We’re still a work-in-progress to get him to be able to do that."

Mikolas rebounded last year from his .149 average in his debut season in 2012 with the Gulf Coast League Yankees by hitting .256 at the same level last year, thanks in large part to using the whole field more.

He continued to work on his hitting to all sides of the field during Extended Spring Training earlier this season too.

“I think Extended went pretty well,” Mikolas said. “There were definitely ups and downs, but for the most part coaches were great to get me better every day.

“There’s always something to get better on. You’re never really satisfied where you’re at, and as of right now, I feel like I’ve learned to use more of the field and become more of a complete hitter.”

Though the results haven't shown it consistently yet, there is a strong feeling that Mikolas has what it takes to one day be a complete hitter -- it just may take some time.

“Well, Nathan can hit," Garza said. "He’s a good hitter. I’ve seen him be good. Probably when he’s doing the best, he uses all fields.

“He’s got power to the left center gap. He stays on pitches. He’s able to use his swing path to stay through. He’s able to hit changeups well. He’s got a good eye. He’s a smart kid. Hard worker. I can say a lot of good things about him. He’s a competitor.”

While the results haven't shown up yet in the box scores, Mikolas said he has improved his base running, outfield routes and consistency on his swing, but, a very patient hitter, he would like to improve on his consistency batting when behind in the count.

Mikolas’ approach at the plate has changed from his first professional days -- he's not nearly as pull-happy as he once was -- but that hasn't been the only area of his game that has gotten better.

Garza, who coached Mikolas last year in the GCL, noticed some defensive changes Mikolas has made from last year.

“When he first came to us, defense was challenging for him, and to his credit, he’s worked really hard and he’s been able to overcome a lot of that difficulty and he’s now a solid defender,” Garza said.

Yankees hitting coach Ty Hawkins has been delighted with the work ethic he’s seen from Mikolas so far this season. Hawkins is working with Mikolas to correct minor changes in his swing.

“He’s making a few swing adjustments with his swing path, and I think we’re right on target with that and he’s catching on pretty well,” Hawkins said. “We're kinda working on some timing issues with him right now, not really so much concern about where he’s hitting it, it’s just the quality of each at-bat that he has. Get a better look of the pitches in the zone and work the strike zone.”

Scuffling a bit in the New York Penn League, which also happens to be the first time he has played night games at the professional level, Mikolas tries to keep things simple when he’s at the plate.

“When I try to do too much, I get out of myself. I just keep myself in the count, and just take a nice controlled swing,” Mikolas said.

Garza agrees. His ideal batting approach for Mikolas is to stay confident, let the ball come to him and focus on putting on a good swing.

“He just needs to keep learning," Garza said. "It’s only his third year professionally and really, in the grand scheme of things, that’s not very long, so I just think he needs to keep learning how to be a pro and learning how to compete and continue on some of the things.

"It’s just really staying within himself ‘cause he can really hit. It’s just a matter of him not trying to do too much and let the ball come and him [and] just putting in a good swing.”

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\r\n \r\n\r\nLeft fielder Nathan Mikolas has gotten off to a rather slow start so far, batting just .195 with seven RBIs in 24 games, but, a notorious pull hitter for the lower levels, he is continuing to work on trying to pull the ball less and expand his hitting range.
\r\n
\r\n\"For him, it’s just a matter of trying to stay within himself,” Staten Island Yankees manager Mario Garza said. “He gets big sometimes, and when he’s big, he gets around the ball.
\r\n
\r\n\"[He is] trying to stay in the short, compact swing and just using the middle of the field. We’re still working there. We’re still a work-in-progress to get him to be able to do that.\"
\r\n
\r\nMikolas rebounded last year from his .149 average in his debut season in 2012 with the Gulf Coast League Yankees by hitting .256 at the same level last year, thanks in large part to using the whole field more.
\r\n
\r\nHe continued to work on his hitting to all sides of the field during Extended Spring Training earlier this season too.
\r\n
\r\n“I think Extended went pretty well,” Mikolas said. “There were definitely ups and downs, but for the most part coaches were great to get me better every day.
\r\n
\r\n“There’s always something to get better on. You’re never really satisfied where you’re at, and as of right now, I feel like I’ve learned to use more of the field and become more of a complete hitter.”
\r\n
\r\nThough the results haven't shown it consistently yet, there is a strong feeling that Mikolas has what it takes to one day be a complete hitter -- it just may take some time.
\r\n
\r\n“Well, Nathan can hit,\" Garza said. \"He’s a good hitter. I’ve seen him be good. Probably when he’s doing the best, he uses all fields.
\r\n
\r\n“He’s got power to the left center gap. He stays on pitches. He’s able to use his swing path to stay through. He’s able to hit changeups well. He’s got a good eye. He’s a smart kid. Hard worker. I can say a lot of good things about him. He’s a competitor.”
\r\n
\r\nWhile the results haven't shown up yet in the box scores, Mikolas said he has improved his base running, outfield routes and consistency on his swing, but, a very patient hitter, he would like to improve on his consistency batting when behind in the count.
\r\n
\r\nMikolas’ approach at the plate has changed from his first professional days -- he's not nearly as pull-happy as he once was -- but that hasn't been the only area of his game that has gotten better.
\r\n
\r\nGarza, who coached Mikolas last year in the GCL, noticed some defensive changes Mikolas has made from last year.
\r\n
\r\n“When he first came to us, defense was challenging for him, and to his credit, he’s worked really hard and he’s been able to overcome a lot of that difficulty and he’s now a solid defender,” Garza said.
\r\n
\r\nYankees hitting coach Ty Hawkins has been delighted with the work ethic he’s seen from Mikolas so far this season. Hawkins is working with Mikolas to correct minor changes in his swing.
\r\n
\r\n“He’s making a few swing adjustments with his swing path, and I think we’re right on target with that and he’s catching on pretty well,” Hawkins said. “We're kinda working on some timing issues with him right now, not really so much concern about where he’s hitting it, it’s just the quality of each at-bat that he has. Get a better look of the pitches in the zone and work the strike zone.”
\r\n
\r\nScuffling a bit in the New York Penn League, which also happens to be the first time he has played night games at the professional level, Mikolas tries to keep things simple when he’s at the plate.
\r\n
\r\n“When I try to do too much, I get out of myself. I just keep myself in the count, and just take a nice controlled swing,” Mikolas said.
\r\n
\r\nGarza agrees. His ideal batting approach for Mikolas is to stay confident, let the ball come to him and focus on putting on a good swing.
\r\n
\r\n“He just needs to keep learning,\" Garza said. \"It’s only his third year professionally and really, in the grand scheme of things, that’s not very long, so I just think he needs to keep learning how to be a pro and learning how to compete and continue on some of the things.
\r\n
\r\n\"It’s just really staying within himself ‘cause he can really hit. It’s just a matter of him not trying to do too much and let the ball come and him [and] just putting in a good swing.”
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

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\r\n

\r\n

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